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The Girl From Ipanema

Antonio Carlos Jobim
and Andy Williams


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Antonio Carlos Jobim


Antonio Carlos Jobim performs his hit song "Girl From Ipanema" as a duet with Andy Williams during a March 15, 1965 broadcast of The Andy Williams Show.

Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim was born on January 25, 1927 in the middle-class district of Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro. Also known as Tom Jobim, he was a Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. He was a primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, and his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.

His best known composition is "The Girl from Ipanema" one of the most recorded songs of all time, Jobim has left a large number of songs that are today included in the standard Jazz and Pop repertoires.

A key event in making Jobim's music known in the English speaking world was his collaboration with the American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, Joćo Gilberto and Gilberto's wife at the time, Astrud Gilberto, which resulted in two albums, Getz/Gilberto (1963) and Getz/Gilberto Vol. 2 (1964). The release of Getz/Gilberto created a bossa nova craze in the United States, and subsequently internationally. Getz had previously recorded Jazz Samba with Charlie Byrd (1962), and Jazz Samba Encore! with Luiz Bonfį (1964). Jobim wrote many of the songs on Getz/Gilberto, which became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, and turned Astrud Gilberto, who sang on "The Girl from Ipanema" and "Corcovado", into an international sensation. At the Grammy Awards of 1965 Getz/Gilberto won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group and the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. "The Girl from Ipanema" won the award for Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

Antonio Carlos Jobim is one of the most important songwriters of the 20th century. Many of Jobim's songs are jazz standards. American jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra prominently featured Jobim's songs on their albums Ella Abraēa Jobim (1981), and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967), respectively. The 1996 CD Wave: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook included performances of Jobim tunes by Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Toots Thielemans. Jobim was an innovator in the use of sophisticated harmonic structures in popular song. Some of his melodic twists, like the melody insisting on the major seventh of the chord, became common use in Jazz and easy listening music after him. The Brazilian collaborators and interpreters of Jobim's music include Joćo Gilberto (often credited as a co-creator of bossa nova), Chico Buarque, Gal Costa, Elis Regina, Sérgio Mendes, Astrud Gilberto, and Flora Purim. Eumir Deodato and the conductor/composer Claus Ogerman arranged many recordings of Jobim tunes. He won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th Grammy Awards.

In early 1994, after finishing his album Antonio Brasileiro, Jobim complained to his doctor, Roberto Hugo Costa Lima, of urinary problems, which included urinating blood. A bladder tumor was detected, but Jobim postponed the recommended immediate surgery for several months, while he tried spiritual treatment with a Brazilian medium and started working on his album Tom Jobim. After receiving a message allegedly coming from Frederik von Stein, a dead German doctor, who recommended not having the surgery, Jobim decided to stop listening to the spiritual guidance and have the surgery instead. His operation took place at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York, on December 2, 1994. On December 8, while recovering from surgery, he had a cardiac arrest caused by a pulmonary embolism and two hours later another cardiac arrest, from which he died. He was survived by his children and grandchildren. His last album, Antonio Brasileiro, was released three days after his death.

Jobim's body was flown back to Brazil on December 9, 1994 and was given a private funeral on December 13, 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. His body lay in state until given a proper burial on in the Cemiterio Sao Joao Batista in Rio de Janeiro on December 20, 1994.

As a well-deserved posthumous homage, on January 5, 1999 the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro changed the name of Rio's Galećo International Airport, located on Governador Island, to bear the composer's name. Galećo Airport is explicitly mentioned in his composition "Samba do Avićo."

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